Reporting James Harmon
Birthplace: Braunschweig, Germany
Born Date: 09/15/1993
Height: 6″ 1′
True Position: Point Guard (1)
411: Dennis was drafted by the Hawks in the 1st round, with the 17th pick, making him the 10th true point guard drafted in the 1st round by the Hawks since the franchise was relocated to Atlanta in 1968. He is the son of a German father (deceased) and a Gambian mother. He has two brothers and two sisters. Dennis enjoys soccer and skateboarding, activities which he ventured in well before he picked up basketball at the age of 11. Although Dennis is adapting to a more American diet, he enjoys eating the kinds of food from his neck of the woods such as schnitzel, http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schnitzel. Dennis is a soft spoken guy most of the time but when it comes to his shoes he has no problem showing them off, boasting he designed them.
Basketball Background: Dennis has been playing basketball professionally since 2009. In 2009, Dennis played 14 games with SG Braunschweig, averaging 7 points and just under 3 assists in 22 minutes per game. The next season Dennis would play 22 games with SUM Baskets Braunschweig where he averaged 8 points and 2 assists in 18 minutes per game. He also played 11 games that season with SG Braunschweig where he averaged 20.6 points, 6 assists, 4 boards and 3.5 steals in 36 minutes per game. The following season Dennis played 30 games with the New York Phantoms Braunschweig, but due to limited minutes Dennis’s numbers were microscopic (2.3 points, .7 assists, .8 rebounds in just under 8 minutes per game). He also played 23 games with SUM Baskets Braunschweig that season, playing 32 minutes per game, averaging 19 points, 6.5 assists, 3 boards and a little over 2 steals. Last season while playing for the New York Phantoms Braunschweig in the Beko League (Germany’s top league), Dennis was voted the leagues most improved player as well as best young German player after averaging 12 points, 3 assists in just under 25 minutes per game while also shooting an exceptional 42% from the field, 40% from beyond the arc, and 84% from the charity stripe. Dennis would also be selected to the All-Star game that season.
Most recently Dennis participated in the 2013 Nike Hoop Summit as a member of the World Select Team. He would go on to score 18 points and 6 assists in 29 minutes to help the World Select Team knock off the U.S. Junior National Select Team, 112-98. A couple months later he was drafted by the Hawks and playing in the Las Vegas Summer League where he started all 5 games, averaging 11 points, a team high 5.6 assists (2nd in the league) and a team best 1.6 steals in just under 32 minutes per game.
Expectations: Seeing this is Dennis’s first season in the NBA as a very young player along with the Hawks bringing back incumbent point guard Jeff Teague, don’t look for Dennis to be a heavy contributor right away. There should be competition for back up minutes with second year point guard Shelvin Mack out of Butler. It’s possible the Hawks could keep veteran point guard Royal Ivey, who has been invited to training camp, on the roster and send Dennis to the D-League for development if he is not quite ready for NBA competition early on. Dennis is an above average shooter at this stage of his game and he’s a good, potentially great defender with court vision. His game is often compared to that of Rajon Rondo, but Dennis has shown to be a much better perimeter threat early on. Only time will tell if Hawks general manager, Danny Ferry, found a gem in the draft at point guard, a rarity in this organization’s 45 year history. (See list below)
Just press play below to hear my interview with Dennis at Hawks media day. Also, follow Dennis on Twitter @DennisMike1993. Follow me @nottydred. As always, thank you and stay blessed.
True Point Guards Drafted by the Hawks in the 1st round since 1968
1. Skip Harlicka- 1968, pick 13 out of South Carolina (bust)
2. Butch Beard- 1969, pick 10 out of Louisville (1 season as a Hawk)
3. John Vallely- 1970, pick 14 out of Orange Coast CC (bust, same year the Hawks drafted Pistol Pete 3rd)
4. Armond Hill- 1976, pick 9 out of Princeton
5. Butch Lee- 1978, pick 10 out of Marquette (bust, 1st Puerto Rican born player in the NBA)
6. Rumeal Robinson- 1990, pick 10 out of Michigan (bust)
7. Dan Dickau- 2002, pick 28 out of Gonzaga (bust)
8. Acie Law IV- 2007, pick 11 out of Texas A&M (bust)
9. Jeff Teague- 2009, pick 17 out of Wake Forest
10. Dennis Schröder- 2013, pick 17 out of Germany